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Interarms PPK/S...when was it manufactured?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by jdkami, Feb 26, 2009.

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  1. jdkami

    jdkami Member

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    I have a beautiful Interarms-built Walther PPk/s with a serial number S025XXX, and would like to know when it was manufactured. Does anyone have any ideas about the date?

    And while I have the opportunity, I would like to say: What on earth led S & W to believe that they could "Improve" on a design as (pardon the pun) bulletproof as the Carl Walther PP, PPK, PPK/S? A "Walther", subject to a safety re-call? Never would have happened in the days of the real Walther's manufacture.

    Years ago S & W made some good quality revolvers, and in the case of the old model 39 and 59, some decent semi-autos as well. My personal experience with S & W leads me to give the following advice. Don't bother with the S&W, buy a High-Point and bank the difference. You will be much happier with the fit, finish, and accuracy, and for the money saved you can buy a lot of ammo with which to practice. But if you are determined to buy for bragging rights, any of the big name manufacturers will provide a product with better accuracy, quality, and reliability.
     
  2. putteral

    putteral Member

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    Mine begins with S030 and I got it new in the Mid 70's if that helps any.
     
  3. jdkami

    jdkami Member

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    Yes, that does help a lot. Thanks Much
     
  4. searcher451

    searcher451 Member

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    What you've just done is the best that you can do: check the date on the test target, if you are lucky enough to have one with your gun, or fish around for folks who do have one and then compare your serial number to theirs. Interarms was notorious for not releasing their records -- if, in fact, they bothered to keep any records at all. :mad:
     
  5. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    Their are no records I know of for the Interarms series of PPK/S . I have tried several times and always a dead end. I agree that S&W is destroying the pistol and the Walthers name with that terrible made now recalled pistol. I did try to buy every Interarms I could find that were priced within reason . Trouble is like the German made the Interarms are going up and being held on to . Thanks to S&W
     
  6. searcher451

    searcher451 Member

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    Michael T: There's no question that S&W-made PPK has been a huge disappointment for all fans of the model. Why they haven't gotten to the bottom of the problem(s) and repaired it once and for all, despite several consecutive years of returned guns and angry customers and flamed internet rants, is a mystery known only to those who live and work in Maine.

    On the other hand, not all S&W-made PPKs are paperweights. Mine hasn't missed a beat yet, and I've owned it and shot it regularly for three years running; I also use it for daily carry and trust my life to it and won't leave home without it.
     
  7. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    My Interarms PPK/S is a 1982 production I believe, serial number S576XX. One more piece in the puzzle.
     
  8. jdkami

    jdkami Member

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    Thanks to all who have responded to my inquiry.

    As for S&W screwing up a once beautiful design, all I can say is that there are always those who feel that they can improve on perfection. If S&W was at all interested in fixing their mistakes, all they would have to do is go back to the original drawings, and the processes of manufacture that Walther sold them when they bought the rights to manufacture, and build it the way Walther intended.

    Just recently I had the opportunity to shoot a S&W cobbled-up PPK. With the first gritty cycle of the slide, I cringed. The gun I fired is owned by a friend who takes meticulous care of his firearms...the gritty feeling wasn't from dirt, but rather from the high school shop class level of machining of the slide and frame. The pistol chambered & ejected reliably enough, but the accuracy at 7 yards was a total disappointment. I have several PP variants in .32 ACP and .380, of French, German, and US manufacture. All are capable of very accurate delivery, except for the S&W. It might be psychological on my part that I can't shoot it as well as all the others. I admit to a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that it may just blow up in my face.
     
  9. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    Helps me a little mine is S018XXX I bought used years ago Have no idea how many rounds fired before I bought But I replaced the recoil and hammer spring couple years back Figured it earned it from just what I fired . Was my main carry for a long time. Still sees some carry.
     
  10. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    My Interarms PPK/S is serial # 0086xx. I don't have any idea when it was made. It seems everyone else has an S prefix in their serial number. ?
     
  11. PRM

    PRM Member

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    Totally agree with you on the European Walthers - they are in a class of their own.

    Also, agree on your statements about the S&W revolvers - time tested and classic.

    They (S&W) have/had some good semi-autos - still do, but I can't agree on the early model 59s, I had one that almost made me swear off of semi(s). Only gun I ever had that was more undependable was an early model Sigma. It would have made a descent trot line sinker.

    Their model 39(s), .45(s) and even their Walthers have some good reports. In the Walther line, I personally prefer the older Walther PP in .32, to other models. Just me!!! The 8+1 (9 shot) capability makes a nice concealable package.
     
  12. blkbrd666

    blkbrd666 Member

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    I have one with the S on the end of the serial number...but it's a PPK/S .22 (134xxxS). It was manufactured in 1978.

    Look on the right side of the gun for a 2 character alphabetic code next to the crown over N and the stag horn...assuming it was manufactured in Ulm. Mine is an HI which translates to 78 based on the code below:

    A=0
    B=1
    C=2
    D=3
    E=4
    F=5
    G=6
    H=7
    I=8
    K=9

    If it's one of the manufactured in the USA under license of Walther, the date code probably won't be there. In that case, the paper target is sometimes dated.

    Edit: Out of curiosity, how about everyone post back with their caliber and manufacture date?
     
  13. Nate1778

    Nate1778 Member

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    Hey Guys, just stumbled on the thread here, I have one (.380) but would have to check the serial numbers on it.


    Side Question, any of you guys having feed problems? Mine used to shoot really reliable, now I can't go two shots without a jam. Tried all sorts of ammo, doesn't make a difference, tried both mags same results. Anybody got any ideas.
     
  14. scotthsi

    scotthsi member

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    I've always wondered about my Interarms PPK/S, too. My serial is 00331xx. No "S" in front, either. Maybe the first "number" is really the letter "O". If so, that would mean it's even older than the "S" series and one poster said he bought his "S" PPK/S new in the mid 70s. I bought mine used in 1994 and it's been a fantastic pistol. Still has the original very nice deep bluing and I've never had to replace anything on the pistol itself. Nate1778, I did start having some malfunctions with the very old magazines, which worked for a long time for me. They were so bad that the feed lips and magazine catch cut-out were chewed up. I ordered some new Walther mags and everything was fine again. They were shiny metal (stainless?) and not blued like the ones that came with the PPK/S. All were flush bottomed, too.

    As for markings, on the left side of the slide is the Walther "ribbon" and "Made in the USA" right beneath it on the muzzle end. Then, a bit further back, it has from top to bottom... "under license of" then "Carl Walther Waffenfabrik Ulm/Do" and finally at the bottom, "Modell PPK/S Cal.9mm kurz /.380ACP". On the right side of the slide it has, "INTERARMS" and below it, "Alexandria, Virginia". The serial number is directly below the ejection port and the chamber has a "VA" stamped right at the bottom. The letters are so close they almost overlap. Can anyone make sense of these markings as to what they mean and/or when it was manufactured? Did the Germans actually produce them in the states? If so, I'm wondering if I have one because mine seems to be pretty old.

    But, alas, my elegant PPK/S never sees carry duty anymore since I have two completely reliable Kel-Tec P3ATs which are MUCH smaller and thinner overall and WAY lighter. Carries the exact same firepower with +1 mag extensions, too. A lot less cumbersome in the front pocket.
     
  15. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    I have all the same markings on my Interarms PPK/S, but a 6 digit serial number including the first 2 zeros (which definitely look like numbers). No prefix.

    My PPK/S is beautiful, but has unfortunately been very unreliable, so it's always been a safe queen. I did recently get new magazine and recoil springs for it, but haven't tested it yet. Gotta get it to the range (once I find some .380 ammo).
     
  16. MN_Swede

    MN_Swede Member

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    Serials and dated test targets

    Gentlemen,
    If any of you have a dated test target or original dated purchase receipt, and would be willing to post that info and a serial number I will add it to my meager list. Here's what I have so far that I believe may be correct:

    Interarms (Ranger) manufactured Walther pistols; PPK, PPK/S and TPH
    Serial number letter prefixes:
    PPK stainless .380 A
    PPK blue .380 K
    PPK stainless .32 B
    PPK/S stainless .380 S
    PPK/S blue .380 no letter prefix
    PPK/S stainless .32 W
    TPH stainless .22 LR T
    TPH blue .22 LR H
    TPH blue .25 G


    Model Finish Caliber Serial Test target date

    PPK blue .380 K000562 11/5/1986
    PPK blue .380 K003641 10/24/1987
    PPK blue .380 K014121 12/13/1994

    PPK stainless .32 B005339 8/14/1998

    PPK stainless .380 A043149 11/7/1989
    PPK stainless .380 A0509xx 1990 purchase
    PPK stainless .380 A058xxx 6/19/1991
    PPK stainless .380 A067365 1993 purchase
    PPK stainless .380 A068995 7/28/1993
    PPK stainless .380 A079617 2/2/1995

    PPK/S stainless .380 S101380 2/25/1993
    PPK/S stainless .380 S1598xx 6/24/1999

    PPK/S stainless .32 W0058xx 8/5/1998

    PPK/S blue .380 000895 1978
    PPK/S blue .380 035118 1/28/1983

    TPH blue .25 ACP G00035x 10/12/1998

    TPH stainless .22 LR T030630 5/3/1996
     
  17. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    Thanks for that info.
    I don't have any box or papers with my PPK/S, but according to your list, that would date mine around 1979 or so (no prefix serial # 0086xx). I didn't know it was that old.
     
  18. denfoote

    denfoote Member

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    Mine is a weird one!!

    The serial number of my PPK/S is XXXXAAA and it's stamped Walther USA LLC, Springfield Mass.

    There's no way to be sure, but I think it was made by Smith from left over Interarms parts or was a finished gun , but not stamped, when Interarms ended it's corporate lifetime. I think that Walther USA was a holding company set up by Smith to dispose of the left over Interarms inventory.

    If the serial number is tied to the Walther date code system, then it would have been made in 2000, which is plausible because I got it in 2001.

    I've had no problems with it over the years
     
  19. MN_Swede

    MN_Swede Member

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    Denfoote,
    There aren't too many of the Walther USA LLC guns around. The few I've seen were all stainles PPK's and had the "AAA" serial number suffix.
    You're info is essentially the same as what I understand to be true about the interim guns made between the failure of Interarms in 1998 and the beginning of production under license of the PPK and PPK/S in 2001 by Smith & Wesson.
    If yours would happen to be other than a PPK stainless, please let me know what it is?
    Thanks,
    Craig
     
  20. denfoote

    denfoote Member

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    [​IMG]

    PPK/S 9mm Kurz

    Interarms didn't fail, the owner died and the family liquidated the company.
     
  21. GaryP

    GaryP Member

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    I purchased my Interarms manufactured Walther SS PPK/s .32acp NIB in December, 1998 - W0052xx. My son and I have put several thousand rounds down range over the last eleven years without any issues. Great little pistol. :) Don't know about the S&W versions.


    :evil:
     
  22. TheNev

    TheNev Member

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    Just wanted to step in and defend my PPK/s.

    Mine is S&W made, bought last year. It has been flawless, specifically bought it for my CCW, and I wouldn't hesitate to carry it. Other than that recall (which seems like a CYA action to me), I have no reason not to trust it.
     
  23. RobertK

    RobertK Member

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    PPK/s Age

    PPK stainless .380 A043149 11/7/1989
    PPK stainless .380 A0509xx 1990 purchase
    PPK stainless .380 A058xxx 6/19/1991
    PPK stainless .380 A067365 1993 purchase
    PPK stainless .380 A068995 7/28/1993
    PPK stainless .380 A079617 2/2/1995

    PPK/S stainless .380 S101380 2/25/1993
    PPK/S stainless .380 S1598xx 6/24/1999


    YOU CAN ADD MINE TO THE LIST
    PPK/S stainless .380 S0176xx mid 1970's
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  24. joe thompson

    joe thompson Member

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    ppk test target

    test rarget for my ppk stainless is 8-31-98
     
  25. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Member

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    My test target is 1994, it hasn't been shot since the test.
     
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